Brockton, Mass., is championing solar power. Photos: SCHOTT Solar This city was once the shoemaking capital of the Northeast, and over the years it was home to boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, earning it the nickname "City of Champions." Today, however, Brockton, Mass., holds the dubious honor of being one of the region's trash capitals, because of its high concentration of waste-disposal and recycling facilities. And you wouldn't want your kids playing in what's left of the open spaces in this hardscrabble urban area halfway between Boston and Providence. Some of Brockton's remaining parcels are EPA-designated brownfield sites, useless …
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Mark Baard writes about the environment, business, and technology for major newspapers and websites. He is living undercover as a suburban schnook as he prepares his escape to life off the grid in the Green Mountains of Vermont.